following is a guest review. The review
and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford
or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the
|I checked out the Hot Toys
Comedian last month,
but Jeff Parker has another look at this exceptional figure tonight.
Take it away, Jeff!
Here I am hot on the heels of Mike’s great low-down for this figure, but what
are reviews without differing opinions… that said, on the whole we seem
to agree on most things with this release, especially the sculpting and
paint apps which are almost beyond reproach, in other areas it seems
the twain shall not meet.
I’m sure Hot Toys have a master plan… at least I hope they do. Whilst
some licences get multiple figures some just get touched upon. I
suppose a lot of the decision making will be set in stone about what
figures will be manufactured well before we get to even hear about it.
Why, well because of the need to work on prototypes and secure license
agreements weeks and sometimes months before an announcement is finally
But then, in these ever changing times (especially in an economy like
the one we are all experiencing globally right now) a lot of the
decision making will be founded on reaction to the announcement of a
the license, pre-orders and then sales once it hits the market. So with
all those factors coming into play it begs the question… will the
Watchmen license get the love… and more importantly the number of
figures it deserves… nay NEEDS!
|So far we just
have Silk Spectre II, and now she’s joined by her daddy,
everybody’s favourite misogynistic sociopath dressed up as a superhero
… Edward Blake AKA The Comedian!
There have been no
announcements yet on any of the other Watchmen, there’s still a lot of
rumours that a leaked photo of the Hot Toys offices shows a figure of
Rorschach under development… so there is hope for him, but what of
Ozzy, Doc Manhattan, and most importantly, for me at least Night Owl.
while we wait for any further announcements, lets look at what we have
in hand, he’s a character that’s hard to feel anything for other than
pity and disgust… but he still has a cool outfit, so he can’t be all
This follows the same design aesthetic and layout as the Silk Spectre
II figure, so that makes me a happy bunny (though it might not sit as
well with Mr Crawford) so it’s heavily reliant on black and yellow. The
front has a monotone image of The Comedian aiming his grenade gun with
a bright primary yellow banner baring the Watchmen logo. This yellow
stripe carries around the side and onto the back where we have another
black and white image of the figures facial portrait along side a full
body image of the figure in colour with a spot gloss varnish to make it
really stand out from the matte black box. The inner section slides out
to the right in a slipcase style.
The front is a large window showing the fully dressed and constructed
figure, dissected by the bright yellow banner. The back has another
monotone image of the Comedian alongside full production credits of the
Hot Toys team involved in bringing him to life. The quality of the card
used here isn’t as thick as some of Hot Toys finest boxes, especially
the DX and M-Icon series, but the fact it is in effect double thickness
because of the slip-case make it more than robust enough to make sure
it will get to you in tip top condition, and the actual design work is
fantastic utilising some very stylish use of images and typography.
When you read the production details you’ll see this is one of Yulli’s
sculpts, so that generally let’s you know you’re in for a treat, and as
per usual she doesn’t disappoint. Blake was played by Jeffery Dean
Morgan and from what I can see this is a near spot on portrait of the
actor in character… and oh what a character.
Edward Blake is a lecherous, amoral narcissist who’s not averse to a
little ‘officially sanctioned’ murder, not to mention rape and torture.
There isn’t a shred of decency in the man, and Yulli has actually
managed to get these character traits across in one ‘creepy’ sculpt.
This is of The Comedian in his later years, so we get the greying
temples, hint of jowls, a double chin and that distinct scar down the
right side of his face that he received in the bar in Vietnam. His hair
is worn in a swept back style, quite long and half over the ears. The
mouth is sculpted in a lascivious grin, teeth bared in what is halfway
to a sneer; his black domino mask half hides his cunning and devious
eyes. Even though his eyes are disguised they still manage to display
plenty of character, they’re positioned straight forward but looking up
slightly, meaning he’s at his best when posed with his chin down, head
tilted slightly to one side with his signature cigar chomped firmly
between his teeth. You’ll find the small cigar included has a tiny flat
peg protruding from its rear; this lines up with the far right hand
corner of his mouth and is simply pushed into position. It’s a firm
enough hold for general posing, but be aware when moving him about as
it could easily be dislodged.
The detail work is as always sublime with breathtaking fine work on the
textures for his stubble and spiv moustache, a simply outstanding
He also comes with a selection of four hands; all are sculpted in his
distinctive fingerless leather gloves with steel knuckle guards and
metal panels on the backs. Two are in gun grip positions, then we get
another left hand in a general grip and an extra gesturing hand for the
right that also doubles as his stogie holding hand. A nice selection
that works well with the accessories supplied.
Once again Mr JC Hong comes up with the good. This line of figures is
most definitely deserving of a ‘cult’ status, regardless of how well
they sell over the next year or so. I have a very strong feeling that
in future these will become very popular figures, maybe even grails to
the ever growing ranks of Watchmen fans, and as such they really needed
to be given a top class paint job… and I’m glad to report that so far
they very much have!
OK, OK I admit we only have two figures so far… but they have to be
planning the rest… right… RIGHT… C’mon Hot Toys you’ve just got to give
us a full line up… but please don’t even consider stopping till we at
very least have Rorschach and Night Owl!
This captures Blake in his mid to late forties, so as I said his hair
is dark brown streaked with grey, his skin is painted really well
showing subtle mottling, freckles and age spots, but not just on his
face, as this figure utilises the same body that was used on Wolverine.
You can see pics of it in this review
here, so we get the paint job carrying on down the neck to
his chest, back and arms. I’m pretty sure it covers his whole torso,
but I’m not going to undress him to find out!
The domino mask is painted ultra crisp at its edges, in fact looking at
it with my linen tester it would appear that it’s painted as a separate
item then stuck in place, it matches up perfectly but ‘very’ close
inspection makes this seem to be the case. Like Bat Man he wears black
make-up to the edge of his eye, but we get to see the fine pink line of
his eyelids then the super glossy eye itself. This release is also a
bit a first (at least I think it is) as we haven’t had a portrait with
bared teeth before, however having seen this I hope when the character
demands it, we will see plenty more. They are picked out in an ivory
colour with fine and subtle shadow lines between them, there’s even the
hint of some gums running along their top edge, the lips are then
picked out in warm flesh tones that compliment his skin colouration
perfectly. His moustache and chin stubble is then gently painted in to
merge with the flesh tones, it’s all as masterful as we have come to
expect from Hot Toys.
The hands are all cast in the flesh coloured plastic, then the leather
is painted in black over the top with some weathering and scuffs,
finally they’re finished off with the steel armoured panels. Top job!
As I mentioned this comes on the same body as the recent Wolverine
figure, and I gave that figure a *** star rating, but having lived with
it for a few months I now feel I was a little too harsh. I’m still not
saying it’s up there with the classic True Types, but it answers a very
specific brief very well. So while having a much-improved aesthetic it
still manages a great range of mobility. Plus it has to be said that
Edward Blake is not the action man that Logan is, sure he can rumble
with the best of them, but his advancing years coupled with a costume
that’s so snug it would make many a mans eyes water, he just doesn’t
need the dynamic range that Wolverine did.
So if you want a full breakdown on all his joints I’d recommend you
just read the articulation section in this review here where you’ll
discover that by using that same body, this figure is just about
capable of striking most of the signature poses from the movie… well,
apart from when he jumps from Archie landing in a deep crouch on bent
knees but that’s not exactly high on my list of desired poses.
The only real restrictions come from the outfit, especially in his
trouser region, but it’s all put together so beautifully, managing to
look so very close to the screen worn outfit I can definitely live with
it. The arms pose well in general, but you’ll have to futz and tweak to
get some good positions with the rifles, especially in high
aiming/firing poses. It is just about doable, but as I said just take
your time and coax them out, don’t try and force anything and you’ll
get there in the end. I noticed that by lowering the elbow pads and
gently manipulating into the desired position without the weapon worked
best, then just slide the weapon into place once you’re happy with how
he is posed.
An interesting piece of trivia is that Morgan actually wore a muscle
suit while playing the part of Edwards to help bulk him out and give
better definition to his arms, if you check out this pic here
you can see some strange ripples and bunching of the flesh.
Blake started out as a vigilante, like all the other Watchmen, but
ended up a mercenary, being used by the US government for all kinds of
messy wet work, even utilising his talents alongside Doc Manhattan as a
troop rallying figure head during the Vietnam war… well, in the skewed
alternate reality of the novel anyway.
As his character matured and evolved so did his wardrobe, he went from
the Jester themed fabric outfit he wore as one of the Minutemen
to a more militaristic, verging on fetish S&M uniform for his
years as a serving Watchman.
It seems to have been designed with maximum protection and ease of
movement in mind. So we have predominantly bare arms apart from his
gloves, elbow pads and those iconic stars and stripes shoulder armour
panels. The elbow pads are constructed of soft flexible rubber whilst
the upper armoured panels are made of a more rigid plastic, held in
place with fabric straps, these attach to his body harness at the top
of the shoulder, the harness runs down the front and back to join to
his belt. This belt has a large protective buckle at the front then
flares out at the sides where there are two magazine pouches (sadly
there were no spare magazines to put into these), for his brace of
pistols which also hang from the belt on a pair of twin holsters, these
are a snug fit so take care when inserting and removing, but better a
tight fit than rattling about. The back section of the belt has a
double row of loops to hold 14 removable cartridges for his pump-action
shotgun. Above this feature, hanging from two metal D rings is the
leather back holster for his shotgun, into which it slides snugly as
well. The left hand bib strap on his harness has the iconic yellow
badge, but sadly for licensing reasons
it doesn’t bear the classic smiley face (they are also omitted from the
grips of his pistols), I know I’m not alone in thinking this is a bit
of a shame, but it can be a relatively easy fix if it’s important to
you… and even though I’m a box-fresh kind of collector, even I am
tempted to get my permanent black tipped sharpie out to add those
sorely missed details.
His ribbed vest and leather trousers are both made of flexible rubber,
which fits tightly but still allows for a reasonable range of movement
whilst keeping an excellent aesthetic. The vest is quite sculptural in
an angular kind of way, forming his implied musculature into very
geometric and perfectly symmetrical forms, the row of tiny steel clasps
that run up the front and back are also separately stuck on as small
plastic elements. The trousers are sculpted to mimic leather grain with
all the heavy duty sewn seams and ribbed flexible panels on his thighs,
knees and ass, and it all works very, very well, helping Blake look
like he has super developed leg muscles purely by suggestion. Over the
trousers he wears a pair of vinyl knee pads formed to grip the joint
while being held at the back with elastic, and lastly there’s his heavy
duty biker style boots which are covered in straps, buckles and
protective guards, his left boot even having a knife sheath strapped to
So, it’s a more complex outfit than you might initially think on first
inspection, but a closer look shows yet again just how much work has
gone into making this outfit look as perfect as possible, I was going
to congratulate whoever was behind it, but strangely the outfits
construction isn’t credited on the box?
So, whoever you were, I salute you, another mini masterpiece!
For the Comedians look here Hot Toys have gone for a specific scene in
the movie, it’s the one mentioned above, just after Night Owl has
hovered Archie above the rioting crowd and Blake jumps down to help
disperse it in his own inimitable style. So, while I admit there is a
part of me that would have liked an extra sculpt of a younger head, dog
tags and perhaps the flame
thrower that was not to be the case.
However the items we do get are perfect for this screen specific
moment, and what we actually have in the box is-
- Tactical full body harness with holsters
- Shotgun (with sliding pump action)
- 14 removable shotgun cartridges
- Boot knife with a knife sheath
- Grenade launcher with opening chamber and adjustable strap
- Two custom pistols
- Sixteen smoke grenade cartridges with a cartridge belt
- Two pairs of interchangeable gloved hands
- Figure stand with The Comedian nameplate and WATCHMEN logo
- Extra hand pegs
That’s Hot Toys official list, but for me the tactical harness is more
intrinsically linked to his outfit, likewise is the knife sheath as
both come attached to the figure straight out of the box. Everything
else is definitely in the accessory camp though.
The cigar, though small is very important part of the characters look,
giving him that nonchalant air of a man whose a constant pleasure
seeker… even in the midst of a gun fight… perhaps even specifically in
the midst of a gun fight.
He also has the brace of twin .45 pistols presented to him by president
Nixon for services to his country, these have sliding cocking
mechanisms, cockable hammers and removable magazines. I said above
these are also missing the smilies and inscriptions on the grips, but
if you have a steady hand and the inclination to include them, you’ll
find the details in this photo
here. Although he poses with them well and they do look very
cool, mine will be remaining holstered, as will his Ithaca 37 shotgun
in the slide in holster on his back.
Well, because as cool as these weapons are, he looks at his best when
fully kitted up with his arsenal positioned about his person, smoke
grenade bandolier slung over his shoulder and the grenade launcher in
hand. The grenade launcher has a swivel catch and can be opened to put
the smoke grenades inside, there’s also a flip up sight and an
As always he comes with the standard Hot Toys black figure base bearing
the character name and a bold Watchmen logo reversed out of it in
bright yellow, nice for those that want it, but he stands just fine
A good description of the Comedians entire arsenal can be found over on
the Internet movie firearms database (IMFDB)
And as for all those extras I said I would have liked at the beginning,
perhaps we’ll get another younger version of the Comedian further down
the line masked and unmasked would be cool and an extra cloth outfit
from the Minutemen wouldn’t go amiss either.
Value - ***1/2
Even though the Comedian is ‘officially’ a DC product Sideshow did have
him for $149, but he has long sold out. It would seem that DC Direct
didn’t want to carry him, as it might have been too much competition
for their own ‘deluxe ‘ 13” figure… and considering their, quite
frankly ‘pitiful by comparison’ figure weighs in with a mighty asking
price of $125… a mere $25 less than the Hot Toys version… I think they
made the right move (the DCD figure can however be found on clearance
for a fraction of this cost on other retail websites).
In it’s own way the DCD version does have it’s own charm, and for a
Watchmen completist it actually manages to look like a figure that Ozzy
might have sold through Veidt industries. But if you are after a small
facsimile of the character then it just has to be the Hot Toys figure.
Plus, the Sideshow price really is only to be looked at as the
‘official’ RRP, with just a little searching you can find it with other
on-line suppliers for quite a bit less and there are some fantastic
prices on eBay.
This can be looked at in a number of ways, as he can pose pretty well,
he has a good selection of relevant accessories plus the sculpting and
paint apps are up there with Hot Toys finest, but there is no way he
could be considered as something for the sand box. As a plaything the
price tag is too high, many of the elements are far too fragile for
little hands and why would any kid want a figure of Edward Blake
anyway… and perhaps more importantly if your kid DID want a figure of
Edward Blake shouldn’t you be seriously concerned?
No, this is not a toy… well, not a kid’s toy anyway, this is once again
very much an adult collectable, and he’ll look great (if not a little
bit creepy) posed next to Silk Spectre II… but he’ll look even better
when Hot Toys have filled out the ranks.
On his own I’d give him just short of a full score, but if we ever get
a full Watchmen line up… well, then the fun factor will go through the
roof… please make it happen Hot Toys… pretty please.
I’m basing my final score on being able to pick him up for $135 or
thereabouts, which was very doable on pre-order, in fact there are some
even better prices than that on eBay right now. So for that price, at
this level of quality and with the cool accessories he has to be a full
score figure. I guess peoples idea of good value differs from person to
person, but the Comedian is so well put together that I’m sure any fans
of the graphic novel or the movie will be 100% blown away by the
figure, he’s virtually perfect.
The only glaring omission is the faces on the tiny Smiley badges, but
it would appear that dark corporate forces conspired to keep this Hot
Toys figure from displaying them… it’s a damn shame, but what can you
do. I feel the same way I did about Ed Scissorhands and ALIEN Kane, I’d
rather have the figure to the best of the ‘legal’ boundaries than no
figure at all, and at least this one is a dead easy fix!
to Buy -
You can always get on the Sideshow
waitlist which often comes through for people, in fact they
just got Silk Spectre II in on a second chance offer, or you can try
hooking up with some of Michael’s sponsors, where you’ll find him for
the prices listed below-
Bad Toy Store
Planet - £126.99
Or you can try
eBay where I’ve seen some great buy it now prices ranging
from $120 to $190.
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.